SEO and Social Guide for Travel Niche

The travel niche is a fast-growing one where the web is concerned, presenting a slew of opportunities to talented writers given the wide range of people interested in learning more about the places they plan to visit.

Like any unique niche, being a travel blogger requires that you stay up on the latest in SEO, social media and other marketing tactics, helping you to rank among the best of your peers when it comes to attention from both search engines and potential subscribers.

Take your travel blogging game to the next level with this SEO and social guide for the travel niche:

The Devil is in the Details

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Before you can get down to the business of writing compelling, engaging content on the world’s wonders, you’ll need to set yourself up with the best platform to support your words. This will include focusing on a few key points:

  • Choosing a domain name. Any travel blogger worth their salt should register a top-level domain name for their website, giving it an air of professionalism along with a memorable address to get visitors to their home on the web. Try to find a good compromise between a name that clearly lets potential visitors know that travel is what you’re about, and a name that is catchy enough to find its way into their memory banks.
  • Choosing a host. Trusting your publishing efforts to someone else is as big a deal as it sounds, and this means that you should choose a host that you have reason to trust and depend on. Luckily, this trail has been blazed by millions of bloggers before you, so the web is rife with reviews on every hosting service imaginable, corporate giants and small-scale businesses alike. Take the time also to identify and cover your needs, ensuring that your host is offering the features that you require at a palatable price.
  • Choosing a publishing platform. Truth be told, this section can more or less be summed up with a recommendation of WordPress, the world’s favorite publishing platform. It’s free, trusted by hundreds of millions of people and offers every feature imaginable that a blogger could require, offset by millions of plugins that allow for even more functionality.

Determine Your Keyword Focus

Given the stiff competition that you’re up against in such a busy niche, you’ll need to pick and choose the keywords that you want to target very carefully, helping you to land the visitors best suited to the content that you’re offering. This doesn’t require scientific precision, but you will need to take the time to identify keywords and terms that people are actively looking for, using that knowledge to tailor your content to serve those needs.

The simplest way to do this is by using Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool, a handy search function for webmasters to narrow down the most popular terms being searched for among the more than three billion that take place on Google each month. This will allow you to identify some of the more narrow travel niches that are underserved, helping you to focus your content on the minute, but ever-so-important aspects of travel blogging that your readers will thank – and reward – you for.

The second aspect to keyword research is staying on top of things. While Europe may have been all the rage in 2012, it could be that current events sway the average traveler to interest in visiting Asia in 2013; when your visitor’s needs change, so should your content creation endeavors. In order to make sure that your travel focus is always cutting edge, set a weekly schedule of taking 30 minutes to use the AdWords Keyword Tool so that you can keep up with the changing tastes and areas of interest of your readers.

Great Content = Great SEO

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Even while you’re investigating and implementing the many particulars involved in properly optimizing your website for Google and friends, it is important to keep in mind that the most important aspect of SEO is good, quality content. This will encourage readers to share your content via social media, talk about it in online discussion forums and link back to it from their own websites, all crucial aspects of getting search engines to notice and reward your efforts.

Use the keywords you found by using the tips above to choose your focus and, for the sake of helping Google and friends to properly rank your blog, include those keywords in your content, but never lose sight of the fact that enjoyable, engaging and fun-to-read content is the best SEO of all.

Be the Epitome of Linkbait

One of the keys to good ranking and visibility on the web is backlinks – that is, obtaining a link to your website from another location on the internet. While there are a myriad of ways of obtaining backlinks, the best way is to encourage others to do the work for you.

“Linkbait” is often used as a negative term to refer to deliberately misleading article titles, but it also describes the ability of a writer to entice readers to get excited about their content by publishing words that generate passion. As a travel blogger, you can achieve this by provoking commentary with in-depth locale reviews, recommending destinations that are typically off of the charts of most travelers, or focusing articles on specific, exciting aspects of a given potential holiday; the possibilities are endless.

Let’s Get Social

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Once you’ve got a site structure in place that houses a good amount of quality content, it’s time for you to get the word out about who you are and what you have to offer, and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and others offer you a fast, free and user-friendly way to do this. The ever-evolving social landscape will keep you on your toes with the new opportunities it presents over time, but here are a few key ways to take advantage of social media:

1. Gather Your Readers on Facebook

With more than one billion users, Facebook is the world’s biggest meeting place, virtual or otherwise. This means that almost all of your readers are probably already active there, making it a simple thing for you to encourage them to talk about your travel blog’s content in a natural, viral way.

The easiest way to achieve this is with a Facebook fan page, providing a platform-within-a-platform for people to seek out your content and share it with friends; given the general popularity that the travel niche enjoys, you’re certain to find new potential subscribers every single time someone publicly “likes” your links on Facebook.

Be sure to be personally active on your page, engaging readers and initiating conversation and debate that will help to draw attention to what you have to say!

2. Be a Travel Tweeter

Twitter has emerged as a strong number two to Facebook, providing you with a unique way to alert interested readers about your new posts. While you’re unlikely to find yourself in deep debate about a visitor’s favorite holiday destination here, the mere volume of Twitter’s user base will help you to get noticed, quickly and easily.

3. Pinterest for Travel Beauty

A relative newcomer to the social media world, Pinterest has quickly become one of the most talked about platforms on the web. With its unique focus on the sharing of photographs, it’s a particularly useful place for travel bloggers, allowing you to link your written content with the sheer beauty of the world’s endless list of travel destinations, making it much easier to entice visitors to your Pinterest board to continue on to your blog in order to learn more about what they’ve seen.

Conclusion

Everyone loves to travel, whether in reality or only in their mind’s eye, giving you a great head-start before you’ve even come out of the blogging gate! With an eye for detail, a solid plan for success and a good effort to produce enjoyable, reader-worthy content, you’ll find your blog a trusted source for travel news and opinions before you know it!

Jessy Troy is the social media consultant and enthusiast who love the freedom of working while traveling. Her favorite destination is Paris.

Image Credits: 1, 2, 3.

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

A Look at Google+ [INTERNSHIP]

At first Google+ was launched as an individual only field test. Google soon after received an outstanding demand for new accounts and then opened it up to people over the age of eighteen. A few months later Google plus was opened for the younger age group. It’s obvious to see that Google plus received a better outcome then they expected. What make’s Google+ so different is because it’s not a social network. However, online communities can emerge from Google+ making it a wonderful side effect that no one’s complaining about.

Google+ is more than an ordinary destination site. Google+ goal is to make sharing on the web like sharing in real life. In order to make this possible, they provided their users with efficient tools that are easy to use. Some of their features include circles, hangouts, messenger, and search in Google+. Their unique timeline is called a “stream” which displays three columns with content from the people in their circles and an input box.

Circles are a way of Google+ organizing their users’ pages into groups for sharing. Circles can be labeled as friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, etc. This just makes it really easy for you to share certain content with certain people. You can filter your stream to show content from your specific circles. Hangouts are a place where video chats can take place with up to 10 people. This can come in handy when a business wants to have a group chat within a short notice and make it sufficiently.

The messenger feature is cool because it allows communication within Google+ circles. The messages are instant which is always convenient, especially when businesses are talking to clients via messenger. Search in Google+ allows users to search any content within Google+. This feature makes it easy for a user to find exactly what they are looking for. The search results will contain relevant posts and people, and popular content from the web. Depending on the keywords you chose to describe your business will help people get a better understanding of what you do.

Google+ makes it possible to make sociable accounts. In Google Analytics it offers social reports that show how Google+ influences your business, recommendations on your site, and what visitor from social networking sites come to see your site. Google+ also has another feature called Ripples which allows you to visualize who is sharing your content.

There are over 250 million Google+ users, which was recently unofficially proposed to now be closer to 400 million. On this social website, it’s impossible not to establish new connections. Networking can’t be done any easier with Google+. The site is continuing to grow and add on new features to help benefit individuals and businesses.

Sources:

The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

About Digital Media Education Internship

Digital Media Education Internship Program is an outreach initiative for Digital Ethos.

Inbound Marketing & 3rd Generation of Websites: Part 2

In part I we delved into the early stages of websites, how they begin, their evolution and where they are heading today. From a business perspective, sites have seemingly gotten smarter, and the potential to utilize them for growth and lead generation is amazing. I like to think of a website as having a salesperson working for you 24/7/365. No vacation, no sick days and a constant ability to draw in fresh prospects. Sure there’s upkeep and in this article we are going to get our hands dirty with the foundation principles of Inbound Marketing. What exactly is Inbound Marketing?

Much like many people asked what social media was a mere few years ago, the term inbound marketing is not part of the mainstream vernacular, yet.

Inbound marketing is the process of drawing customers and prospects to you, instead of you seeking them via outbound techniques, like direct mail or cold calling. Oftentimes, these traditional methods are unwelcome and interrupt people without their permission. Inbound uses a combination of methods that position a business to be found when the prospect wants to find you. This is a much different idea, and simple at it’s core. Think of it like this: If you were watching your favorite TV show on DVR, and suddenly thought, “Hey, I need a new vacuum” and a vacuum commercial came on, you wouldn’t skip it. It was there when you wanted it there, not when the advertiser would force you to watch it.

Mind you the concept is not new, and the term Inbound Marketing has been around for many years, created by Hubspot, who is at the forefront of inbound marketing software and education. (full disclosure, my agency Soul NYC is a Hubspot Partner).

For businesses looking to redesign their website to be 3rd generation, there are some key elements to consider to set it up properly for Inbound Marketing. Your website is the major component, but external factors also can come into play. 1. You must have a blog. This is a must. The cornerstone of inbound marketing is producing interesting and relevant content on a regular basis. A website with a blog, gives a business the opportunity to broadcast at will. Blog content, besides providing useful information for your audience, also gives the search engines more opportunity to find your site. Continually adding to your blog adds pages to your site, and that fresh content is actually considered differently by Google and other search engines. Recent changes to search algorithms give more weight to fresher content. “Google’s aim is to include recency and freshness when determining relevance.”

  1. But what do you write about? Think about the things your customers ask you over and over again. These are great fuel for blog articles, and will be the types of things people will search for. Make a list of at least a dozen potential titles, so you have somewhere to start. Try to schedule posting at least one blog article a week, if not more. Make sure your content and titles are SEO friendly, which leads us to…
  2. Optimize Everything SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a key component is setting up your website for inbound marketing. It’s one of the most powerful things you can do to drive traffic to your site. It is important that the page titles are used properly. We often see the name of the company only on every page title, or just a simple one word description of the page content. The title should include important keywords and other information, like location that can help to return better results on search. These title tags show up in the browser, search engine results and many social media sites use that title tag as the link when posted. Example: Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name 2 In addition it is good practice to link keywords within the body of your website content and blog posts to other pages on your site. Remember to write your content for readers, but consider the terms or keywords that they might be looking for. As always make sure that content is relevant to your audience and useful. Stuffing it with keywords over and over for the hell of it will make it unreadable and Google doesn’t like that either! These are just a few of the many things that affect SEO on your site. Do some research or discuss with your web design agency about properly structuring your site for SEO. There are also practices for Offsite SEO that are equally important. As we’re talking about fine tuning your website for Inbound Marketing, we will save that for another article.
  3. Integrate Social Media Social Media can work on many fronts. It can help you build presence and audience external to your website and position you as a knowledgeable leader in your field. In terms of your website, social can be used to draw people back to your content when you post it on the channels that you choose to use. It also is a way to spread that content. The larger your audience is on social, the wider your potential reach is. So post often and with relevancy. Share and retweet other people’s content as well. It’s just good practice to do so, and will always lead to reciprocal sharing of your content. On your site, implement tools to make sharing easy. Give site visitors the opportunity to like, share, tweet and email without leaving your pages by using social share buttons.
  4. Create Clear Calls To Action Once you’ve done the work to get visitors through your site through blogging, SEO and social, now what? You want to speak to them directly. A call to action helps to do that by giving them a specific action to take. These can be catered to the different types of people who buy your services by creating “buyer personas.” This differs for every business and usually there are several types of them. Regardless of the specifics, your call to action (CTA) should be written and designed in a manner that will incite a response. Some examples: Start Your Free Trial Today Call for a FREE Consulation Download our Ebook on XYZ Tell them clearly what you want them to do. A good CTA is explicit, concise and stands out on your page. Place them on pages where people wind up from search and social, like your homepage, blog, and services pages. You should have multilple CTA’s to use that are specific to the page or content the viewer is looking at. Then link those CTA’s to landing pages…
  5. Use Landing Pages to Convert Visitors to Leads This is where the magic happens. A good landing page is written to reinforce the offer of your CTA. It should describe the benefits of the offer and again incite an action. Common practice on landing pages is to remove all buttons and links, leaving the user with just the form that you will use to capture their info and register them as a lead. Once the form is completed, the user is typically sent an email with a link to download the offer or confirming receipt of their information and the next steps you will take. Here are 7 Tips to Landing page success from Search Engine Watch 3

    1) Have a Clear and Emphasized Call to Action
    2) Align Your On-Page Message and Call-to-Action With Your Off-Page Promise
    3) Simplify Design and Reduce Text
    4) Use Images Judiciously
    5) Show Brand Validation
    6) Enable Sharing and Highlight Social Validation
    7) Test, Test, Test

  6. Analyze & Measure Everything The foundation for all inbound marketing efforts is analytics. You have to know where your traffic sources are coming from, what they’re looking at, and whether or not they are engaged with your content. This requires robust software to be installed on your website.

Google Analytics is a start but it doesn’t offer the full suite of measurement tools needed to effectively get the job done.

Good tools will track and measure many important bits of information that will allow you to continually improve your inbound marketing game. Knowledge is power, and the right platform will provide you all of the insights needed to craft better optimized content, stronger CTA’s and landing pages, as well as gain valuable insight about who is hitting your site. Leads and Conversions are also recorded and data can be tracked and compared over time.

This constant measurement allows us as marketers to improve our efforts while the customer or business owner has real data on what is being done and how that relates to ROI.

Final Thoughts…

Inbound Marketing, is a worthwhile, proven approach that can create a steady flow of traffic and leads when executed properly. If you’re considering a website redesign, ask your developer or agency about how you can implement features in your new website to facilitate this. As always make sure that the approach is right for your business. If you decide to go it alone and are not capable or writing and producing content in a timely manner, it may not be a fit. You can seek out assistance from a qualified professional or agency so that you get the most out of inbound marketing.

Sources:

About Tommy Spero

Tommy Spero ( @tommyspero ) is the Principal and Creative Director of Soul NYC (www.soulnyc.com) , a branding, web design and inbound marketing agency that helps companies large and small use design and technology to grow their businesses. Tommy drives the vision of the agency, with over 14 years working in the design and interactive space. His experience working with some of the worlds biggest companies, like American Greetings, Sony Music, VH1, Showtime and Novartis, gives him unique insight on how small and medium businesses can succeed through the use of branding and technology. His design work has been featured multiple times in the LogoLounge series of books by Rockport Press, as well as appearing on television and all across the web.

Google helps Voters!

Google has made wonderful strides in helping people get out and vote, for example type in polling place in Google and you’ll get this!

On the next page, once you enter your address you’ll get this, which if you enter a valid address will show you where to vote and provide you the ticket (choices on ballet) so you can go into the booth prepared. In past surveys one of the reasons cited for not voting was fear of the unknown, additionally people has openly admitted not knowing who to vote for besides the President. Google has made it easy to know before you go, not only by providing you the names but by using the engine to review the candidates, find out info about their positions and help you make an educated and informed decision.

This wonderful tool leaves no reason any citizen (with access to the internet) cannot make informed purposeful decisions. I for one hope you’ll use it to choose a platform and person and not just Vote a party line.

It’s my opinion however, that if you choose not to vote, then you should also choose to keep yourself out of the criticism and maybe even the conversation, if you don’t act then you really have no ethical standing to complain. If half of those that flooded Facebook walls, Twitter streams and real life networking mixers with political complaints turned out to vote we might actually get candidates that would listen to you. However, until then you’re just hot air in a far off room or wasted text on a social site to full or excuses to matter or be part of the change.

As for those that want to learn, participate and be educated about their rights and ability to cast an honest informed vote, you have Google to thank for making it a little easier.

 

 

Sources:

 

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Google AdWords, Part 2 [Internship]

As you read in the Google Adwords part one, pay per click (PPC) is one of the options Google offers as an advertising feature. However, PPC is not the only feature. Cost Per Impression (CPI) is another online advertising tool that Google offers. CPI usually is in the form of a banner ad on a website and advertisers pay for every time their ad is displayed. CPI is different from PPC because CPI is only when the ad is displayed on a website, not clicked like PPC. Cost Per Mille (CPM) is the most common marketing practice used on the internet. CPM advertising is the way a marketer can be more certain about the revenue they generate from their website traffic. When the amount paid for every thousand earning impressions served, this is said to be CPM or CPI.

Some of Google Adwords advanced features include location options. In the previous Google Adwords article, it talked about setting your location to make your ads visible to a certain area. Advanced location options allow a marketer to reach people viewing pages about your targeted location. This will help because you will not only be seen in just your targeted area anymore. The only catch is that this feature is only available for certain campaign types that have “all features”. The good news is that you can switch your campaign type whenever you like.

Google had recently been trying out a new feature called Google Email Subscription Ads. This allows companies to buy ads that automatically fill in a newsletter slot. This allows users to sign up more easily for email subscriptions or other free newsletters. A cool feature on this allows your Google email address to be displayed next to your ad.

A new revolutionizing feature that Google Adwords set up is calling Pay Per Call (PPC). Pay Per Call is simply the process of an advertiser paying the publisher every time their phone number is clicked off a Google search page. This is another good way a marketer can establish their advertisements and see how their PPC option really works.

Google offers many different features for businesses to choose from. Google Adwords is a great beneficial step for your business to take. The set up is easy, and Google is kind enough to show you a step by step process. Even though Google is testing out some features, it’s easy to see that they are thriving and will go into good use.

Read: Google AdWords Part 1

Sources:

http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing/advertising-internet-advertising/2646-1.html#axzz29NUBY4iJ

http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1722038

http://www.crunchbase.com/product/google-adwords-2

http://paypercallexchange.com/mobile-marketing/google-mobile-adwords/

 

The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

About Digital Media Education Internship

Digital Media Education Internship Program is an outreach initiative for Digital Ethos.

Marc Ensign on Digital Business Hour


Marc EnsignMarc is an Internet Marketing geek specializing in search engine optimization, social media and digital design. His approach to success in search engine optimization and social media is based on embracing the rules as opposed to finding the temporary holes. While everyone else is looking for the easy way out, his methodology is based on putting in the work up front and building sustainable success. Matt Cutts from Google publicly called his strategy “solid” while those that he has worked with have actually benefited from the recent Google algorhythm updates. Marc has a blog where he writes a lot of nifty stuff around Internet Marketing, although he has been known to sneak something in there about his previous time spent as a professional musician. He used to be a fairly successful musician a few years ago…He performed on Broadway, recorded an album with R. Kelly and wrote a bunch of books. In everything Marc does, he tries to keep the language pretty geek-free to make sure that everyone can benefit from what he is speaking about.

Why use Google AdWords? – Part 1- [Internship]

Google logo

Ever search something on Google and wonder what makes the first search result better than the next? With a little help from AdWords it can help you achieve a higher rank in the search results. AdWords bid on keywords that will help trigger their sponsored ads. How much they bid is one of the things that determines their position on the page of search results. The more their ads are clicked, the less they have to pay for each click.

Google AdWords is Google’s pay per click (PPC) advertising platform. This tool is used to direct traffic to your website. Every time your ad is clicked in the PPC option, the advertiser pays the website owner on the terms that the agreed on. The budget can determine how often ads can appear on Google. PPC’s content usually takes form in advertisements such as sponsored links or ads. They appear either above your search results or along the side.

There are many beneficial factors when taking using the AdWords tool. When someone clicks on your ad, this will take them to your website where they can learn more about your business and make a purchase.  Advertising on Google can direct more traffic to your website as you are using the most widely used search engine in the world.

When you first come across Google AdWords, you’ll want to narrow down your audience and attempt to target just your customers. Google AdWords allows you to narrow down your audience by choosing from hundreds of languages, and specific cities and regions. For example, if you own a furniture store in New York City, you don’t want your ads to be seen in Colorado. Set your campaign ads to be read in English throughout the New York City area. Making your ads visible within a ten miles radius of the city or using the zip code targeting can’t hurt either.

After you targeted your audience, you then want to create your ad that will appeal to them. You want your ad to stick out like a sore thumb. In a world full of furniture stores, you want someone to click on your website instead of your competitors. In order for the searcher to click your ad, you want to be able to provide them with the one they think provides the most beneficial information or drives the highest value. In order to make an ad the most effective for your website, you want to choose keywords that are relevant. Choose keywords that relate the most to your site, service or offer. For example, if you are a business that sells furniture, your keywords might include couch, futon, or recliner. You’ll also find it useful to create long tail keywords, like NYC furniture store, or park slope furniture store. The long tail keywords use more terms to narrow your target and often have less competition.

There are a couple of types of keywords, one being negative keywords. A negative keyword is a phrase or word that prevents ads from appearing when a searcher types it in. For example, if your business sells furniture, but doesn’t sell bed frames, you would add the negative keyword but put a hyphen before it like so –bed frames. This eliminates your ads from appearing on irrelevant searches. Another type of keywords include exact match. You want to use exact match when you are using keywords that are exactly what a customer would be looking for when searching on Google. Exact match means that the ad shows for searches only when the search query is exactly the same as your keyword. When using exact match, chose your keyword and put it in square brackets. When someone is looking to buy a love seat, and you own a furniture company, you may want to use [love seat] as an exact match.

After you created your ad, you want to set a pricing. Set your daily budget and cost per click up. You can spend to as much or as little as you want. The average cost per click with Google AdWords is around $3.50 per click but in some cases skyrockets to $20. A useful feature on AdWords lets you change your budget at any time. When you are finally all done with setting up your ad, you want to launch the campaign.

Signing up for Google AdWords can be a good move for your business. It can direct traffic straight to your website which can mean more purchases. Google AdWords generates more visitors, followers, and customers. When you have an effective ad on Google’s search results page, your website will see a whole new world. The tool is one of the best advertising options when you want to track ROI and be able to reduce or grow on the fly. While there is still a lot of other options, using the PPC campaigns in Google AdWords can be a great source for new business.

Coming In Part 2 – Google AdWords, Advanced Options, CPM, Newsletter, Calls, DisplayNetwork

Sources:

The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

About Digital Media Education Internship

Digital Media Education Internship Program is an outreach initiative for Digital Ethos.

A Day at Google New York & Seth Godin [OPINION]

Google started a pretty amazing program called “Google Engage for Agencies”, while it’s a great outreach program to help generate brand advocates that act as a sales team for low to no cost, it’s much more then that!

Google has generated a program that has done a few things, but I want to center on two, Content and Education!

1) Google Engage is a program that is producing content for Google.  Agencies are now telling stories for Google about Google and tying it directly into local communities! The Engage program has agencies and consultants that now have stories that tie back to their community, ones that give all the recognition to Google and the AdWords platform.

2) Google is flooding the market with the correct information and empowering agencies and consultants through education to provide the correct and effective services. In a time period where consumers distrust agencies and digital marketers (and they should) Google has decided to empower those that want to learn, want to provide value making it much harder for those that are not genuine to survive.

The Engage program has provided others, like myself with direct education and training. The information that I now have as a professional has been advanced by the support of Google, both in a distance education program and done in conjunction with Dale Carnegie trainers at Google.

I made a comment earlier that consumers distrust digital marketers and agencies and that “they should”. I stand by that statement, in fact,  I started blogging because of that very fact just a few years ago. Walk into a small business owner these days and don’t be surprised when you get a question like “what makes you different then the other 100 sales people before you” and it’s a great question, in fact if business owners and organizations had asked it sooner we wouldn’t have the distrust that the marketing industry has earned.

Google made a commitment to provide a service that they believed helps connect people on the web to solutions providers and services. That incredible tool has been defiled by digital marketing consultants and agencies. As Seth Godin has explained, marketing had it good until the illusion vanished. Out of fear and greed the economy was destroyed overnight by those that worked to game the system, be in PPC, SEO or just selling products, services and solutions that they didn’t care if it worked as long as they got paid.

Google had another great surprise for those of us in attendance, a LIVE Google Hangout with Seth Godin, “America’s Greatest Marketer as claimed by American Way Magazine. Seth’s presentation was excellent and while he did a great job sharing information with us, the Q&A was a treasure. Seth’s message is that success comes from being genuine and often takes a long time, in fact Seth admitted it took his blog three (3) years to gain traction.

A day at Google confirmed one thing, the world is full of fraud and the marketing industry has a disproportionate number of contributors. The bright note is that for those of us that take the time to genuinely try solve problems and not just generate sales or revenue, we can and will be successful. In this case, Google is genuine about wanting to connect people with what they are actually looking for, be it through organic search or paid search. Google is acting like a leader, providing the right and accurate resources to the community. The Google Engage program is just one of the resources that Google has invested in to empower the professionals that are trying to do the right thing by their clients, customers and business.

In the end, Google was impressive at every turn. Google New York had Food, Fun and Value! The information was only surpassed by their commitment and methods to deliver it! A methodology that I feel is worth any successful business or corporation pursuing.

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

How Exact Match Domains Have Weathered the Penguin Storm

Exact match domains have always had the added advantage of direct-type in traffic, giving them certain immunity to algorithm updates. Once an EMD is linked to a website, the webmaster’s behavior has more to do with rankings. Penguin sought out sites with too many exact match anchor text links, but the outcome had more to do with who can get away with it and to what extent. For EMDs, exact anchor text makes up part of the natural link profile.

Brand based anchor text is natural, i.e. www.brandname.com, brandname.com and brand name. When your brand is your exact match domain name, your website is not going to set off those same red flags for your exact match keywords. But, what you’ve done with your link profile beyond that is what does come in to play with Penguin. Is the rest of your link profile diversified with partial anchor text, long tail, and a nice mix of click here, visit this site and straight http: links? That’s most likely what sets apart the ones who were impacted by Penguin and those that were not.

Tier 2 pages

What have the exact match sites done with their tier 2 pages? Chances are, most have targeted different keywords for those pages and not focused on as many brand anchor text links. Natural links to tier 2 pages often contain the title tag. Take a look at your back link profile and look how others linked to those pages. That’s a good indicator of what natural linking to those pages looks like.

Meta Data

Another issue any site could run in to is over-optimized title tags. So, if you repeated your keywords in your title tag in a spammy way, i.e. red shoes, cheap red shoes, not only does that page come across as spammy because of the title tag existing on it, but if a user linked to your site with the title tag, that appears spammy, too.

Keep in mind, if you keep on playing with your title tags, you set off a spam alert. If your title tag is webmaster tools compliant, don’t tweak it. Spammers will often watch if their title tag adjustments results in higher or lower rankings and if they drop, they will go back and revert the changes. This is when you get in to trouble. Your server records the file date every time you make a change and Google uses that data to make an evaluation.

Many exact match domains do continue to rank well in Google post Penguin, but no site is immune to future updates. Moving forward, don’t assume that because your website was not affected that it won’t be. We’ll always be left guessing what the next problematic issue will be.

 

Source:

Theresa Happe works with Buy Domains, a leading source of domains for sale, including available and exact match domains.

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